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The South African Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) has recently announced that from 1 July 2019 onward, there will be an increase in the official fees payable in respect of both South African patents and designs.
In addition, the South African Patent Office will also now distinguish between corporate entities and small, medium and micro entities (SMME) as regards the official fees which are payable. In this regard, the fees for corporate entities show a significant increase whereas those for SMME's remain largely unchanged
What Will The New Fee Structure Look Like?
New SMME Fee
New Corporate Entity Fee (ZAR)
Filing a New South African Patent Application
Annual Renewal Fee for Patent
Filing a New South African Registered Design Application
Annual Renewal Fee for Registered Design
*Please note that the renewal fee amount payable will vary slightly depending on the annuity year of the patent or design.
Who Will Be Regarded As A "Corporate Entity"?
In accordance with the proposed changes, a corporate entity is to be defined as one that does not qualify as a small, medium or micro enterprise (SMME) in terms of the National Small Business Amendment Act. In this regard, in order to qualify as an SMME the entity must, together with its branches or subsidiaries have: i) fewer than 100 employees (up to 200 in some industry sectors), ii) a turnover of less than a predetermined amount (currently set at between ZAR 4 million and ZAR 50 million, depending on the industry sector), and iii) total gross assets (excluding fixed property) valued at between ZAR 2 million and ZAR 18 million, depending on the industry sector.
What Additional Changes Are To Be Implemented?
From 1 July 2019, all other official fees in respect of patents and designs will also increase by 5%, for both SMME's and corporate entities.
Some additional formal requirements have also been implemented. More particularly, to pay fees at the SMME level, a new Declaration of Entity Status Form (Form P27 for patents and Form D19 for designs) is required to be completed and submitted upon the filing of a new patent or design application. From 1 July 2019 onward, the applicable form must also be lodged when renewing an existing patent or design.
If the form is not submitted, the relevant official fees will be billed at the corporate entity rate.
Source: De Beer Attorneys